Sales and Marketing

Market Research, Branding, Distribution, and Sales are all essential building profitable food companies. Our resources help food, beverage and value-added agriculture businesses learn these essentials so they can focus on getting profitable and raising money.

Top Note Tonic

How Top Note Tonic Pivoted Beverage Categories and Understood Their Market

50 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Top Note has pivoted away from syrups towards niche ready-to-drink, already mixed sparkling tonics, using their foray into syrups to further understand the mixer category and build their brand. Mary reflected that having a good bank as a partner is important and that learning about money has been the most useful thing that she has picked up as an entrepreneur.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Mobcraft Brewery And Taproom

MobCraft Beer’s Creative Sourcing of Recipes and Financing

45 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

MobCraft beer is a brewery and taproom with a unique business model of crowdsourcing ideas for beer recipes from their customers. Knowing how much equity they needed vs. debt to finance their facility build out and equipment needs helped them pitch specific asks to both banks and investors, including for their $2 million tap room and production facility.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Customers Are Always Right?

The Customer Is Always Right (Or, At Least They Are The Ones Who Pay...

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Food businesses should align their products and branding with their target consumers and should use market research to understand what the marketplace is asking for. Acquiring and keeping customers is what drives successful businesses and customer preferences must be met in order to have a financially viable business.

Article about Sales and Marketing for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Underground Food Collective

Jonny Hunter Of Underground Food Collective On Thinking Bigger in the Food System

1 hour & 30 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Jonny Hunter of the Underground Food Collective talks about his wish that values around local and sustainable food could be used to create systems that have scalable efficiencies that are affordable to consumers. He advocates for working together to build and sustain the infrastructure that would support processing and other means to scale up the local food system.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Focus And Discipline

Focus And Discipline Are Key To Food Business Success

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Focus is what gives food business owners clarity about their strategy and about the tactics needed to carry it out. Tools like the business model canvascan provide focus and clarity to their business model and the strategic implications of choosing a particular business model path or going after a particular target customer.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Clare And Matt Quince And Apple

A Steady, Slow Growth Path For Quince and Apple’s Niche Domination

1 hour & 10 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Because Quince and Apple has labor-intensive, artisanal products, the best strategy was not to compete on quantity or price. Instead, they chose to compete by dominating an emerging niche (pairing their products with specialty cheeses) while telling the defensibly unique story of their artisanal processes.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Love The Wild Box

How Love The Wild Built A National Brand For Frozen Farmed Fish

1 hour & 5 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Within six months of launching their company they got their product out in front of consumers, trying out 127 product variations over an additional 18 months in just two stores. Once they honed in on their product, they rapidly expanded into distribution and raised multiple rounds of funding to support their growth.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Flavor Temptations

Food Business Brands Evolve With The Consumer

50 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Originally branded as Ethnic Spicery, Flavor Temptations changed their brand to fully communicate the joyful, family-building experience of making memories through Indian cooking so that their brand resonated more deeply with their target consumer. They also changed their packaging to better share their values and to stand out on grocery store shelves.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Change

Kill Your Darlings: Food and Beverage Business Evolution

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Some entrepreneurs are uncomfortable with their business idea or product evolving as their business develops. However, most entrepreneurs start out trying to implement one idea, only to get feedback from consumers that the real business opportunity is in a different product, category or maybe even a different business model.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Divergent Business Model Path

Your Place Can Shape Your Business Model Path

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Different business models have paths i.e. divergent roads that entrepreneurs can choose to follow to achieve their business goals. Choosing one means saying no to another, at least initially, as each path has different scale requirements and requires different levels and sources of capitalization.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

FaB Wisconsin

New Product Development and Rollouts For National Food and Beverage Brands: A Process

1 hour & 10 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Big food and beverage companies start the new product development process by focusing on their target consumer and the value proposition they are offering that consumer through their brand promise. Discovering and defining a consumer driven product is much harder to do than making a food product.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Storytelling

What’s Your Story? Speaking To Your Audiences’ Needs

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

With consumers, entrepreneurs should develop in-depth personas about their target customer and use the language that speaks directly to their unmet need. When speaking to funders, entrepreneurs need to tell the story of their business model, their revenue model and their brand positioning i.e. the story they reinforce with consumers.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Direct Farm Sales By Region

Direct Sales of Farm Food – USDA 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey

44 pages of Free report content + lots of excel data by USDA

From the USDA 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey: In 2015, farmers produced and sold $8.7 billion of edible food commodities directly to consumers, retailers, institutions, and a variety of local food intermediaries such as distributors and wholesalers that market and sell locally branded products.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Are You Ready To Start A CSA?

Are You Ready to Start a CSA?

8 pages of Free report content by University of Tennessee Extension

Marketing is vital to the potential success of a direct marketing enterprise, including that of CSAs. Marketing is also inherent to many drivers of profitability including managing costs, production quality and efficiency, pricing for profit, achieving some minimum level of sales volume, building repeat customers, and managing risk.

Books or Guide about Business Models for businesses that are Pre-Venture

Grocery Store Categories Growth

Define It: Categories In Action

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

What category means in the context of a grocery store is difficult to define. Categories could be defined as groups of products that meet a similar consumer need or that can substitute for each other. This allows something like snacks, as a category, to cover many different types of products and have a plethora of sub-categories (salty snacks, sweet snacks, etc.).

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups | Growing and Scaling

Distribution

Pricing Through Distribution Worksheet

Paid tool by Edible-Alpha®

Food and Beverage producers should always work backwards from the selling price to determine the wholesale price. Sometimes both retailer and distributor margins can be lower in certain competitive product categories and in large scale conventional distributors and retailer. However, it is difficult to sustain at a Gross Margin Contribution of less than 35%.
Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide

Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide

106 pages of Free report content by Wisconsin DATCP

How do you get started in local food production and marketing? What do you need to consider? Like any business venture, establishing the entire concept and developing the initial steps may seem overwhelming. You must learn a whole new set of skills and be proficient at them for your business to succeed.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Food And Tech

Innovation in Food Is Different Than Tech

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Big food companies realize that they need to innovate. Rather than innovating only in-house, many have been acquiring or strategically investing in new brands at a rapid pace. Innovation in food needs to be matched with an emotional and cultural connection to the consumer through relentless communication about food company's brand promise.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods Disrupts Distribution And Presents Opportunities

20 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

There are many reasons why selling food online is difficult. When cognitive neuroscientist track our brain activity as it relates to food, they find that the pleasure centers of our brains light up when we eat and even when we shop. This acquisition opens the possibility that consumers can benefit without degrading their shopping experience.

Article about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Organic Agriculture Wisconsin

Organic Agriculture in Wisconsin: 2017 Status Report

44 pages of Free report content by University of Wisconsin-Madison

According to data from the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), Wisconsin had 1,334 organic farms in 2015, nearly doubling over the last 10 years. Wisconsin remains the second state in the nation in total number of organic farms, second only to California. Wisconsin ranks third behind California and Montana in the number of organic acres.

Books or Guide about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

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